Discover more from BLACK VIRGINIA NEWS
#HD07: Karen Keys-Gamarra Wins Plum Endorsement
KAREN KEYS-GAMARRA WINS PLUM ENDORSEMENT. 🚨 HD07: Veteran lawmaker Delegate Ken Plum has endorsed Karen Keys-Gamarra to follow him in the Virginia House of Delegates. Del. Plum represent Reston and parts of Fairfax.
Keys-Gamarra, a family law attorney, is currently a member of the Fairfax County School Board. The endorsement by Del. Plum, a widely respected veteran of Virginia politics, is huge as Keys-Gamarra is running in a competitive primary for House District 7.
🚩The primary is June 20. Early voting stared on May 5.
Del. Ken Plum announced his retirement on Feb. 22, after 44 years of service in the Virginia General Assembly. The announcement was part of a wave of retirements in the 2023 election cycle as the result of redistricting in 2020.
Karen Keys-Gamarra is one of the most powerful Black women in Virginia. Along with current Virginia Lt. Governor Winsome Sears (1,658,000 votes), SD33 candidate and former Del. Jennifer Foy (98,000 votes in the 2021 gubernatorial primary), Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan (82,000 votes) and Phyllis Randall (63,000 votes), who is Chair of the Board of Supervisors for Loudoun County — Keys-Gamarra is one of the most powerful Black women in Virginia, in terms of vote totals — with the second highest vote total of any Black women in Virginia’s history with 179,000 votes.
After being elected county-wide in Fairfax to sever on the School Board in 2017, Keys-Gamarra easily re-elected in 2019.
In his Feb. 22, letter to constituents announcing he would not seek re-election, Del. Plum touched on the sweep of history he has witnessed as a member of the Virginia General Assembly:
I could not be prouder than I am of the members of the Democratic caucus who succeed me. The caucus is made up of more women than men, persons of color, a different generation, and a broader perspective than has ever been represented in the State Capitol.
Even Capitol Square looks different than it did when I first arrived. The oversize statue of Robert E. Lee that dominated the original House of Delegates chamber has been removed. The statue of Governor and later Senator Harry F. Byrd that stood by the sidewalk between legislative offices and the Capitol is gone as is the tight hold of his conservative grip on state government that stifled the state’s development for more than a half-century.
Signifying the changes that have occurred over recent years is a memorial dedicated to the Indigenous people who occupied the area we now call a state for thousands of years before the English arrived. A unique memorial pays tribute to the women who contributed mightily to the state’s history, and a civil rights memorial now stands featuring Barbara Johns who led a school walkout that launched the Civil Rights Movement in the state and led to the end of school segregation.
Plum represented the 36th District since 1982. He earlier served from 1978 through 1980. His district includes a large part of Fairfax County and all of Reston.
➡️ SUBSCRIBE TO BLACK VIRGINIA NEWS. “One had better die fighting against injustice than die like a dog or a rat in a trap.” —Ida Wells. 👨🏽💻 Send your press releases, submissions, tips, pitches, comments and corrections to BlackVirginiaNews@gmail.com.